Totò, principe di Danimarca (1990)
by Leo de Berardinis
direction, lighting design, stage space and soundtrack by Leo de Berardinis
translation of extracts from the Hamlet Angelo Dallagiacoma
costumes Loredana Putignani
slides Piero Casadei
with Leo de Berardinis, Elena Bucci, Bobette Levesque, Marco Manchisi, Francesca Mazza, Antonio Neiwiller, Marco Sgrosso, Paola Vandelli
technical collaboration Marco Carletti, Mauro Persichini, Maurizio Viani
Premiere Asti, Teatro Politeama (Asti Teatro 12), 5 ottobre 1990
Totò, principe di Danimarca. Presentazione
by Andrea Scappa
In 1989 Leo de Berardinis, after seeing a dreadful staging of Hamlet, decided to avenge the outraged pale prince by combining him in an original drama with Principe De Curtis. So, in that same year, a twenty-minute farce was born, stuck at the end of Leo’s play Metamorfosi. This primitive nucleus, this trailer of what would become Totò, principe di Danimarca, won the appreciation of critics and public alike, and in its final form debuted at the Asti Teatro on October 5, 1990.
The pretext of the farce is: Antonio Esposito, a penniless Neapolitan comic played by Leo, accidentally receives a letter addressed to his neighbor, the rich actor Mezzacapa, with an invitation to participate with his own staging of Hamlet in a Shakespeare festival in London. Leo-Totò doesn’t want to miss out on the lavish reward offered for the play, and along with a shabby company of actors works at a staging that will never see the light. Through the two-bit actors of this screwball troupe, which boasts of doing experimental theater but actually earns its bread and butter from doing burlesque hall entr’actes, Leo thumbs his nose affectionately at a typical aspect of the Italian theater of his time: the gigantisms of Ronconi, the highbrow inspirations as ends in themselves, the assembly line Grotowski workshops and the decline of the avant-garde.